Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sock KAL-The Toe and Kitchener Stitch

The last task to complete your fabulous socks is upon us. It's time to finish the toe and weave it together for a seamless and perfect ending. You've knitted down the foot until about 2" of length remain. We'll be doing a striped toe in colors B and C, so if you like more color and a longer toe, you can start the stripes well before we begin to decrease. The color stripes pattern is where the clock pattern ends so you can remove your markers.

We're going to change colors at the bottom of the foot where it won't show as much. After you knit one round in the new color, there will be a jog where the first round ends and the second round begins. To minimize this, we're going to reach down into the previous color row and pull a stitch up one row and knit it together with the first stitch of the round. It will look like a slip stitch when finished, being two rows tall. This floating stitch only occurs on the second round after the color change.

Change to color B and knit around.

At the beginning of needle #1, reach down with the tip of your right needle and pick up the right side of the stitch directly below (it will be in color A)...

and put it on your left needle without twisting it.

Knit this stitch and the first st. on #1 together. Knit around.

Change to color C and knit around. Repeat the second round as above, picking up the stitch below in the previous color and knitting it together with the first stitch on needle #1.

The stripe pattern is two rounds wide in each color, unless you want something thinner or wider. Substitute however you like. Floating the first stitch from below always happens on second round (and only the 2nd round) after the color change. If you don't care whether you have a jog in your stripes or not, knit happily around and disregard the directions for addressing this jog.

Next round: Change to color B and knit around.
Next round: Knit (floating the colors st. if you like) and decrease as follows:
#1: k to last 3 sts., k2tog, k1
#2: k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts., k2tog, k1
#3: k1, ssk, k to end.

If the toe were laying flat on the table, the decreases take place one stitch in from the edge on both sides of the toe, top and bottom, so there will be four decreases each round. It helps me to get a visual for this so I don't have to keep looking at the directions.

Next round: Change to color C and knit around.
Next round: Knit a decrease round as above, (floating the color st. if you like)

Continue striping and decreasing on every other round as above until 32 sts. remain, 8 on #1 and #3 each.
Work a decrease round on every round until 16 sts. remain.
Using needle #3, knit across the sts. on needle #1 so that the remaining sts. are held on 2 needles only with 8 on each.
The join with the floated stitch is visible in the photo above, but once it's blocked, it will be much less visible.

Kitchener Stitch

We'll finish the toe by weaving the stitches together using a technique called Kitchener Stitch. I don't know how it got it's title. Basically, Kitchener Stitch reproduces the knit stitches, creating what looks like a continuous knit fabric. There are no seams and it looks for all the world like the knitter knit the toe from back to front without stopping. It's brilliant and very useful in all kinds of garments. Here's how it works:

Cut the working yarn into a long tail (18 in. or more) and thread it onto a tapestry needle. With all of the stitches held on two needles, hold the needles together, one in the front and one in the back with the working yarn tail coming from the back needle.

Set up row: Using the tapestry needle run the yarn through the first stitch in the front as if to purl. Then run the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit. Pull snug.

Row one: Slip the first st. of the front needle onto the tapestry needle as if to knit, enter the 2nd st on front needle as if to purl, leaving it one the knitting nee both dle. Pull the yarn through stitches. Snug up yarn, but not tightly.

Slip the first st. on back needle as if to purl. Enter the 2nd st. on back needle as if to knit. Pull yarn through both sts. and snug up the yarn, but not tightly.

Row two up to last row: Repeat as above. There will be one less st. on each needle each repeat until only 2 sts. are left.

Last row: Slip front st. as to knit, slip back st. as to purl. Snug up yarn, weave in end.

Knit, purl, purl, knit. That's how I remember the order. Always slip the first st. off the needle, thread through the second, front and then back. slip knit, purl front. Slip purl, knit back. Once you get the first couple of repeats finished, it all falls into a rhythm.

Woo Hoo! the toe is finished. It may look a little rough in the picture but after blocking, it will look perfect. Now we have to go back to the cuff, sew the edges of the twisted edging together and weave in all of the ends. After that, it's done!!

Try on your sock.

Admire your handiwork.

Start on the second one if you haven't already.

Send me the pictures at along with your own story and comments or your own blog or web address. If you've got something to share, please send it along and I'll post if for you here and on our website and/or link to your site.

Finally, wear your socks proudly, present them as gifts to only the most important people in your life, or sell them on .

Write your own patterns and dream up your own designs.

Design new and better ways to accomplish knitting tasks.

Write a book.

Become famous!!

What a difference a Sock KAL can make!


WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Brilliant well done - I will have a go at this in the Winter if I can still find the posts and let you know how I get on.

Margaret Cloud said...

This looks very hard, I am not coordinated enough for knitting, you have heard of people with two left feet, well I am that way with my hands, your socks are pretty, thanks for coming by my blog site.